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Nashvillian James Arledge leads the charge with his NOGAS line of electric scooters

Green Machine



When it comes to the future of alternative transportation, Nashville's James Arledge is a true believer — in fact, he's staked his own future on it. A longtime piano technician, Arledge designed and manufactured his own line of grand pianos and piano strings. But in September 2009, he changed his tune: He started NOGAS Electric Vehicles, a company that makes all-electric scooters. (His son Brent now runs the piano business.)

Arledge designed all the various scooters he sells, and manufactures them on site in his Berry Hill shop. After over a year of sourcing parts and tweaking designs, the first NOGAS scooters went on sale about six months ago.

Prices range from $1,799 for the Euro, which has a top speed of 25 mph and a range of about 20 miles, to $7,995 for a fully decked-out Cruiser that can do 75 mph and has a 50-mile range. There are several options in between, depending on your needs. For instance, the Vintage model, whose appearance is inspired by classic Italian scooters, is available in three different options: $1,999 (25 mph/20 mile range), $3,499 (45 mph/30 mile range) and $4,995 (50 mph/50 mile range). The scooters charge with a standard 110-volt household outlet, and will fully recharge in two to eight hours. Arledge says the electricity cost comes out to about one cent per mile, compared to the 15-cent-per-mile fuel cost for the average car.

Arledge takes green living very seriously — in addition to scooters, he sells solar panels equipped with AC converters that provide up to 1.8 kilowatt-hours per day. You can fully charge your bike every day on solar power and be completely off the grid for transportation costs. He also does Toyota Prius conversions: By adding additional batteries, he can have your Prius getting 100-plus miles per gallon. After converting his own Prius, he recently got 1,279 miles driving around Nashville on one 12-gallon tank of gas. That's roughly 106 miles per gallon.

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